February 18, 2021

Corn Risotto Balls “Arancini”

Arancini is a perfect appetizer utilizing leftover risotto or leftover charred corn. This dish can be made with any style of risotto, using summer corn is just a way to celebrate the end of summer as the seasons change to the cool fall evenings. I love risotto and use it as a vessel to use the random odds and ends I have in my cooler. Feel free to be adventurous with what you put in the risotto. These go great with herbed aioli or spicy tomato jam.

Serves : 6-10 people

Prep Time : 10 minutes

Cook Time : 45-50 minutes


For the Risotto

2 tablespoons olive oil or butter (2 extra tablespoons butter to finish dish)

1 1/2 cups Arborio or Carnaroli rice

6  cups hot corn stock (chicken stock can be a good substitution)

2-3 ears of corn (remove husks and silk and discard)

1 white onion, finely diced

1 cup white wine

1 teaspoon Kosher salt and black pepper (more if desired)

1/2 teaspoon coriander

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2  cup grated parmesan cheese

2  tablespoons minced chives or green onion

For Corn Stock

2-3 each charred ears of corn (kernels cut off and reserved for risotto)

Onion scrap from dicing

1 each carrot, peeled and cut in to pieces

1 each celery rib, washed and cut into pieces

2 cloves garlic, smashed

2 each bay leaves, 1 teaspoon black peppercorn

8 cups water or chicken stock

For Arancini Breading

3 farm eggs

1 box panko breadcrumbs (smashed)

1 cup corn flour or masa harina

2 cups all purpose flour

Salt and pepper to taste

Lard or vegetable oil for frying

Instructions :

  1. Heat the grill and grill corn until all sides are charred.
  2. Cut the corn off of the cob and use for the risotto.
  3. In a medium heavy bottomed crock, place the corn cobs and ingredients for the stock bring to a boil.
  4. Turn down to a simmer and cook for a couple hours. I like to remove the corn cobs and scrape the leftover corn to get the remaining corn off and add back to the pot. 
  5. In another medium crock, warm olive oil or butter and cook onions until they are soft (about 10 minutes). Add the arborio rice with corn kernels and spices.
  6. Toast for a couple minutes constantly stirring with a wooden spoon.
  7. Add wine and cook until dry. 
  8. Pick the vegetables out of the corn stock and keep heat on low.
  9. Add in a couple cups to the arborio rice.
  10. Stirring constantly and cook until the stock is almost completely absorbed.
  11. Repeat this process until the rice is cooked. For Arancini you want it slightly overcooked and a little drier than risotto.
  12. Stir in chives, butter and parmesan cheese.
  13. Lay out on a tray and cover with plastic.
  14. Let the risotto chill in the cooler. 
  15. For perfect risotto you want the rice to be creamy and tender (20-25 minutes approximately). The rice should change from crunchy to silky soft. You don’t have to add all the stock.
  16. Set up breading station using 3 pie pans. Flour in the first with salt and pepper.
  17. Egg wash, beat eggs with about 3 tablespoons water in the second.
  18. Breading in the third pan, panko smashed mixed with the corn flour.
  19. With a small cookie scoop, portion out the risotto and roll them in your hand until a circle is formed.
  20. Add 5 at a time to the flour and roll them until thoroughly coated. Knock off all leftover flour and add to egg wash.
  21. With your opposite hand, pick up and add to the breading.
  22. Roll in the breading and pick up with your dry hand.
  23. Keep one hand dry and one hand will be your egg wash hand. This makes the breading job fairly clean.
  24. Put the balls on a plate.
  25. Add enough lard to come halfway up a medium cast iron pan.
  26. Bring the lard to 350-360F and fry until dark brown.
  27. Remove with a spider onto a pan with a wire rack or paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
  28. Enjoy with a herbed aioli sauce or spicy tomato jam!

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